DC, partnering with Warner Bros, and Marvel, now working with Disney, have made some mega movies. From Iron Man to Wonder Woman, millions flock to their nearest cinemas to see the latest instalment in the DCEU and MCU franchises. But how accurate are these movies when compared to the comics – and is that even important?
For some Marvel and DC purists, seeing their favourite superhero on screen is a huge deal.
But one important aspect of making the move from comic book to screen can be accuracy.
For many fans, they wish to see people they recognise in the cinema, whether that be in their costumes, their mannerisms or their integrity.
However, comic book expert and the UK’s only comic book professor, Professor Chris Murray, disputes this, instead saying he places little value in “being ‘true’ to an original”.
Speaking to Express.co.uk , Professor Murray said: “Adaptation isn’t about fidelity or accuracy. I don’t place much value in being ‘true’ to an original.
“Comics are always reinventing origin stories, so there is no stable ‘authorised’ version of a character or origin that an adapter should be obliged to follow.
“I think comics readers understand that pretty well, but… the only stories that tend to appear are ones with fans frothing at the mouth with rage about some supposed betrayal of the source material. That is a caricature of fandom.”
As far as Professor Murray is concerned, fans love to reinvent their favourite characters, using many methods including cosplay and fan fiction, both of which are hugely popular in the Marvel and DC worlds.
He added: “Look at cosplay and fan fiction. Fans love to appropriate and reinvent things.
“There is – I hope – a relatively small but very vocal part of fandom that gets too much attention – the bullying, misogynistic element that plays the role of the enraged fan in an attempt to justify attacking a creator, or actress.
“Whenever I see someone ranting on social media, filling comments section with bile, my first thought certainly isn’t whether they are justified in their fury because some sort of canon has been violated.
“Most fans care about good storytelling, not some obscure detail of comics lore that they want to see portrayed accurately. That is a tired cliche.”
For Professor Murray, “toxic fandom” which sees people bullying or being angry on social media about the so-called betrayal of a character is something we must run from, and instead focus on “social justice and representation” being a key part of comic books getting to the big screen.
He said: “Where we see toxic fandom that attacks ‘social justice warriors’ or some such thing, this should be challenged.
“It always strikes me as odd that people who supposedly love heroes and stories devoted to social justice in a genre such as superheroes, where identity is such an issue, should feel such incandescent rage at someone fighting for social justice and representation!”
While Professor Murray made his views quite clear on why the idea of “canon” is not important, many fans do become frustrated when heroes close to their hearts are altered in ways they do not understand.
However, let’s hope Phase 4 of the MCU and upcoming DCEU movies can help everyone to come together in unity.